The Red Sox right-hander entered Sunday 2-2 with a 7.45 ERA in 29 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket, with just one more batter struck out, 30, than walked. He's given up a combined 12 runs in his last 6 2/3 innings, nine of the runs earned.
"I think it's important to get him regardless, assuming he's healthy," general manager Ben Cherington said on Sunday. "We fully expect him to be back here but don't know when that's going to be yet."
Whether Bard continues on to winter ball has not been determined yet. As for his role going forward, Bard has pitched almost exclusively in relief with Pawtucket and has a track record of big league success out of the bullpen, but Cherington said the matter hasn't been discussed.
Bard's time in the Majors this season lasted 11 appearances, all but one of them starts, and he posted a 5.24 ERA, recording more walks (37) than strikeouts (34).
"It's important to get him back here in this environment again and being around people he knows well, so we're trying to find the right time to do that that's fair to everyone," Cherington said. "He's not the first really good pitcher to go through a down time. He's going to come back from it. We're going to help him come back from it."
Bard said in Boston on Saturday, when Pawtucket played a game at Fenway Park, that he expected to be back up soon.
"I'd be surprised if I wasn't [called up]," Bard said. "I know the results haven't been what I want, but ultimately, I think that's where I belong. Just getting in that environment is going to instantly make me a better pitcher."